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C-ROADS: World Climate Simulator

Climate Interactive

C-ROADS is a simplified version of a climate simulator. Its primary purpose is to help users understand the long-term climate effects (CO2 concentrations, global temperature, sea level rise) of various customized actions to reduce fossil fuel CO2 emissions, reduce deforestation, and grow more trees. Students can ask multiple, customized what-if questions and understand why the system reacts as it does.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Educators will have to provide students with enough background material to help them create interesting scenarios.
  • Encourage students to run a set of scenarios that allows them to compare the results of different policy options.
  • Suggest reading the Briefing, Introduction, and FAQ (https://www.climateinteractive.org/tools/c-learn/frequently-asked-questions/) sections and decide the concepts you want the learners to emphasize.
  • Instructors should spend some time playing with the simulator before using it in class.
  • For high-school learners, more scaffolding would be needed.

About the Science

  • Students are able to change the fossil fuel emissions of CO2, measured in gigatons (billions of tons) of CO2 per year, from the three regional country groups (i.e., developed, developing A, developing B ) as a percentage of Reference Year emissions reached by 2050.
  • The reference scenario used here is based on the IPCC scenario know as A1F1.
  • There is a thorough technical reference (including data sources from IPCC AR4) for C-ROADS at https://www.climateinteractive.org/tools/c-roads/technical/.
  • For information on the assumptions in the C-Learn simulation, review the technical information on C-ROADS (of which C-Learn is a derivative -- the carbon cycle, forests, and climate sectors are identical).
  • Comments from expert scientist: The creators of this activity have successfully produced a tool that an intelligent stakeholder could use to make an informed decision.

About the Pedagogy

  • One of a suite of visualizations from C-Learn, this interactive can help augment research or discussions about the challenges and opportunities relating to reducing CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere.
  • C-Learn allows students to run their own scenarios and examine the results. Although there are only a small number of variables that can be changed in any scenario, the number of permutations provides a wide range of policy options to explore.
  • There is an extensive set of instructions at https://www.climateinteractive.org/tools/c-learn/instructions/. There are popups to explain key words and concepts.
  • A fuller understanding entails looking at the assumptions and data embedded in the C-ROADS simulator.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Login required, but you don't need to create an account or pay anything. Simply type the login code that appears on the screen.
  • Easy to use and simple.

Related URLs These related sites were noted by our reviewers but have not been reviewed by CLEAN

Climate Interactive: http://www.climateinteractive.org/

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